After yet another disappointing season, the Edmonton Oilers were hoping to give their fans something to cheer about in their final home game.
Ryan Getzlaf spoiled those plans.
Getzlaf scored in overtime as the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Oilers 3-2 on Thursday.
An Edmonton shot caromed off the boards with a pair of defenders up on the play and came all the way down the ice for a Getzlaf breakaway, as he beat Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk through the legs 1:12 into extra time.
Andrew Cogliano and Bobby Ryan also scored for the Ducks (34-35-12) who ended a three-game winless streak and moved up to 23rd in the NHL with one game to play this season.
“It was actually a pretty bad game for us,” Cogliano said. “The first period, we were badly out-shot. It was ugly, but we found a way to win. That's good because you want to finish the year off well and have something to look forward to next year.”
Ducks goalie Jeff Deslauriers was pleased to make 24 stops to pick up the win in his first start against the team which originally drafted him.
“I was pretty happy to get this start against Edmonton,” he said. “It was great to get the win here.”
Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle responded for the Oilers (32-39-10), who sit second-last in the NHL and finished off the year a 18-17-6 on home ice this season.
“At the end of the day we had a winning record at home this season, which is a positive,” Eberle said, comparing their home record to a 13-22-6 campaign at Rexall Place in 2010-11. “Obviously we had some games here that would like to take back. I thought we started the season well at home and finished it fairly well. We just need to get that consistency. In order to be a contender next year and in years to follow, that consistency will be important.”
Oilers head coach Tom Renney said the breakdown on the overtime goal is exactly the kind of thing the team needs to eliminate next season.
“Until we get deeper and have more firepower and some different ways to win, we are going to have to play smart, really intelligent hockey that doesn't give the opponent too much and gives us a chance to sting you with a quick strike,” he said. “We'll get there and it will be fun to watch when we do. But you aren't going to win in this game if you don't defend properly and pay attention to detail.”
Anaheim had a great chance four minutes in as it looked like Ryan was going to have a clear breakaway, but Dubnyk hustled way out of the net to make a diving play to strip him of the puck.
Edmonton's best chance in the scoreless first period came halfway through as Gagner dropped a pass back to Eric Belanger, but he shot a puck wide of the open net.
Edmonton had 11 shots on Ducks goalie Jeff Deslauriers, while Anaheim only had two shots on Dubnyk through 20 minutes.
The Oilers finally broke the scoreless deadlock midway through the second period. Jeff Petry's shot rang off the post but came back to Gagner, who scored his 18th of the season past a flailing Deslauriers.
The Ducks came roaring back with two quick goals late in the second period to surge ahead 2-1.
With three minutes to play in the middle period, Cogliano came off the boards and sent a quick snap shot from the right faceoff dot past Dubnyk.
Just 36 seconds later, Ryan came away with a loose puck on the doorstep and lifted it over the Oilers starter for his 29th goal of the season.
Edmonton battled back to tie the game with six minutes remaining in the third period. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins fed a pass to Eberle and he deked out Deslauriers before flipping in a backhander for his 34th of the year, eventually sending the game to extra time.
Both teams conclude their seasons on Saturday as the Oilers travel to Vancouver to play the Canucks and the Ducks are in Calgary.
Notes: It was the final of four meetings between the two teams and second in a five-day span. The Ducks won the first two before Edmonton cam away with a 2-1 win on Sunday in Anaheim... The Oilers and Ducks have both long been out of the playoff picture this season. Edmonton will miss the playoffs for the sixth straight year since losing out in Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup finals. Anaheim will miss the post-season for the second time in the last three years... The Oilers came into the game struggling to score with four goals in their last four games and less than 20 shots in each of their last three (14, 15 and 19)... Ducks F Teemu Selanne has been a bane to the Oilers in recent years. Selanne, 41, entered the game with seven goals and seven assists during a nine-game point streak against Edmonton... The Ducks were missing D Nate Guenin (face), and G Dan Ellis (groin), out since January... Petry returned from taking a puck to the face two games previous. Edmonton was without D Theo Peckham, D Corey Potter and D Ladislav Smid.